Well, it’s the start of a new schedule here at the Frugal Upstate household, and it’s going to cause some dinner time changes. The kiddos are both going to start participating in a swimming club that will be happening 5-6:30 twice a week. This is obviously going to effect dinner, as we typically eat somewhere between 5:30 and 6:00 pm, and the kiddos hit the sack at 8pm nightly.
So this week I have to take into consideration these facts:
1. Swim Club Tuesday and Thursday. Right now the plan (and as we used to say in the Army-no plan survives first contact with the enemy) is to have dinner ready super early for the kiddos so they can eat by 4:15-4:30. In theory they will have time to digest and get to practice. Then when they get home at 6:45 or so they can have a snack, shower, and get to bed on time. Long story short-dinner needs to be ready super early. Crockpot, cold meal (like sandwiches) or cook ahead meals are probably best.
2. Wednesday night we will be eating dinner out.
3. Yankee Bill has meetings this week. He won’t be home at all Monday for dinner, and on Tuesday and Thursday he needs to be out the door by 6 (which is ok because I have to have dinner ready early for the kids anyway)
4. In lieu of a 10th Birthday Party I’m taking Princess and a few friends to the movies after school on Friday afternoon. By the time I get home from a movie and ice cream at Friendly’s with a gaggle of 10 year olds I probably won’t feel like cooking much.
5. The kids are having friends sleep over on Saturday night-so we need to have something that is kid friendly to eat for other folks kids. I mean sure-I can feed my kids lentil soup and get away with it. . . but when you are dealing with OTHER peoples kids you might not get so lucky.
6. I need one meatless, one fish and one venison meal for the week.
7. A church friend is having a baby this week-I’d like to make one or two things during the week that I can double to have extra to bring over.
Taking all that into account here is my game plan:
Monday: Chicken Stir Fry
I have leftover cooked chicken and pheasant that need to get used up right away. Chopped with some frozen stir fry veggies over rice it will make a quick and nutritious dinner.
Tuesday: Cheese Ravioli and Marinara Sauce with Green Salad
I bought Ravioli at Aldi’s a while back and have yet to use them. Since all you do is boil and go, it will be a very easy meal for a busy night. The salad can be made at any point and kept in the fridge-so it’s practically instant! Also, since it’s cheese ravioli and I’m not using meat sauce this can count as my meatless meal for the week.
Wednesday: Dinner Out
When it gets close to each child’s birthday they get a special dinner out with just mom & dad. Wednesday is the night we will be taking Princess out to celebrate her 10th Birthday. She usually chooses the Japanese Hibachi Steak place. Something about the combination of food & fire. . . It’s not a frugal night out, but it’s only once a year and I’ll use a coupon to help a bit.
Thursday: Crock Pot Jambalaya with Greens
We haven’t had jambalaya in a long time! I’ll use some frozen shrimp we’ve got in the freezer along with a bit of sausage and chicken. I’m going to consider this a mostly fish meal. I’ll use frozen greens and spice them up a bit with some red pepper flakes and ham bullion powder.
Friday: Cheater’s Venison Stroganoff over Potatoes with Steamed Vegetables
I’ll make a quick cheater’s Stroganoff with some of the venison we canned. Although it is traditional to serve it over noodles, we’ve got some potatoes I should be using before they sprout~so I’ll just bake those in the microwave and serve it on top! Then for a side I’ll just warm up a bag of frozen veg. This is my venison meal.
Saturday: Pasta Bake with Roasted Broccoli
Noodles, sauce, cheese. . . these are a pretty safe bet when you have kids with unknown food preferences coming over. I could even dress it up a bit with some pepperoni and call it pizza casserole (it’s all in the name when it comes to kids-remember my Shrek Swamp Slime soup?).
Sunday: I don’t know, but I’m not cooking
Sunday is my birthday-so someone else will have to figure it out!
Are you interested in learning more about menu planning? Check out my post “Why Plan a Weekly Menu” .
For more great menu plan ideas, head on over to Menu Plan Monday at the Organizing Junkie.